The Timing of the Lord
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
The writer of Ecclesiastes lays out for us a crucial topic to take note of: from birth to death and every season in between – season’s change! While most of us are probably able to recognize the shift from the dying of fall, to the harsh cold winter, into flourishing spring, and through the summer heat, most of us (myself included) have the hardest time allowing things to end, or die, if you will, so that God can establish a new pattern for our lives. If we want to go the distance with God and see heaven’s plans manifested in our lives then we will have to become adept at discerning the seasons of life. Far too many people are unwilling to let go of old thoughts, old patterns of behavior and even good things that won’t work in a new season (yes, even relationships). Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Yet, the Lord will never force us into choosing to align ourselves with His truth for our lives and our season.
My personal experience with this season shift has been seen in new opportunities, new thought processes to consider, and a willingness to let go of a direction I once thought I would walk down in exchange for something far greater. In other words, am I willing for things to change and to allow things to “die” in order to make room for something else? If you are entering into a new season here are a couple of things to consider:
1. Value brokenness!
At its core, brokenness deals with repentance. In order to dismantle old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, and the like, we must be willing to submit ourselves before the Lord humbly and allow thoughts, directions, and alignment to take place. We should place greater value on the leading of the Holy Spirit then what we once thought. Pain, offense, and thinking we had previously thought was “good”, even dreams we’ve had should be submitted to the Lord like a sweet offering. When we truly understand the incredible value and worth of brokenness we will cry out for it. Do you value brokenness? What in your life needs to be broken before Him so that he can come in and work internal transformation for the new? Psalms 51:17 tells us, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” If we are not broken before Him and fully submitted to the new that He is laying before us then we are in danger of clinging to the old and thus being trapped in an old cycle and season.
2. Call Upon the Name(s) of the Lord!
Ask the Lord this question: Who do I need for you to be for me in this season that you can only be through this unique set of circumstances? This is a question I ask the Lord when I feel a shift in my circumstances, because this is always a place for personal breakthrough. It is an invitation for an encounter with the Lord. The answer to this question should allow us to draw upon the name of the Lord in ways we had not previously known. When we praise God for who He wants to be for us He then invades our circumstances and we begin to know His nature in a way that we had not previously know. When we are required to draw upon the name of the Lord and the word of God we allow the truth of who He is to transform us from the inside out. What was once head knowledge, now, through declaration becomes a present reality in our current situation. This action transforms our thinking and therefore our hearts. Like Moses, we too need to have a heart’s cry that says, “… teach me your ways so I may know you…” (Exodus 33:13). In order to know the ways of God beyond mere words, we have to be willing to walk through places that allow us to call upon and know the attributes of God that can only be produced by our present circumstances. Drawing upon the name of the Lord allows us to burst forth into a new season and allows the old to die.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” We are equipped with what we need to make the shift! We simply need to hear God’s voice in regards to the season of our lives and align ourselves with His will. We are only ineffective to the degree that we are hindered from both hearing and obeying God’s voice. In regards to Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (full scripture below), Expositor’s Bible Commentary tells us, “The significance of this section is that man is responsible to discern the right times for the right actions; and when he does the right action according to God’s time, the result is ‘beautiful’.” So, I will end with this,
“In the language of Ecclesiastes, are there situations in business or life where you are trying to birth things that should be dying? Trying to heal something that should be killed off? Laughing at something that you should be weeping about? Embracing something (or someone) you should shun? Searching for an answer for something when it is time to give up? Continuing to try to love something or someone when it is time to talk about what you hate?” Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud.
Let’s leave behind the things that need to be left behind. Let’s end some stuff; yes, even those good things. The new will expand our capacity to walk in greater measures of Christ’s authority. Not for our sakes, but so that His kingdom is expanded. As I heard it stated, if we miss our chosen days, we will miss the movement of our tribe. Let’s not miss the timing and purposes God has for our life. Recognize the season you are in and move into it! I believe many of us are moving into a “NOW” season. Who is going with me into the new that God has for them?!
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8